We are in the middle of no where Cambodia. Or so it feels like it. From the moment the big bus from Siem Reap dropped us off literally on the side of the road, our backpacks were tossed to us, and walked down a dirt road to a little church I knew we would be disconnected from everything. Kampong Thom is not westernized at all. Our house is filled with scorpions, huge spiders of I don't know what kind, crickets the size of texas, lizards, centipedes, roaches, you name it, it's in this house with us. Buckets showers for the next 2 1/2 weeks. We are sleeping 3 to a queen size bed and when I say bed I mean slab of wood. I'll confess...it's not easy. BUT, in the midst of it all God is teaching me more than I thought possible.
Pearlito, Rose, and their precious daughter are taking care of us. They are setting up our schedules, cooking our meals, and transporting us all over this village. God has called this family from the Philippines to plant churches and raise up leaders within the church. They moved here 5 years ago, planted this church in Kampong Thom, rose up disciples in the area, and left a month ago to begin this process all over again on the Thai/Cambodian border. They are amazing to say the least.
I could share so much about the past couple days but I'll try to be brief. My thoughts and feeling have been all over the books. The first night was pure excitement and readiness to be in an uncomfortable place like this. This to me is what mission trips are all about. Then, the next morning I woke up with a sore back, not much sleep, and feelings of inadequacy and having nothing to offer to this place or my team began attacking me. I was frantically asking God to give me something, anything. I was all over the Bible. I was reading the promises of how I am chosen, loved, that He is with me, He is my strength, etc. BUT, I couldn't grasp this. I wasn't getting the reality of this. I was trying to pull it all together, searching, begging God to show up. I felt weak, empty and that He would not speak to me when I needed to hear from Him. I was a basket case.
Then, more ministry was placed in our laps, ministry that we weren't prepared to do, and that's when I came to the end of my rope. I KNOW that He is strong when I am weak, but I couldn't grab hold of this truth. As we were on our way to teach a class at the church on leadership for 2 hours, having no idea what I was going to offer, plans changed and I was on a tuk tuk heading to a small village 45 minutes away. While driving on the dirt roads through the middle of no where God was speaking to my heart. I FINALLY realized that these thoughts are from the enemy. I KNOW that God has such huge plans for the next couple weeks and Satan does not like it. He doesn't want me to make an impact here. Why else would I be in the middle of no where? There is NO WAY I would be in this tiny village if it wasn't for God. NO WAY. He has placed me here to fulfill a part of His plan. He has handpicked me out of all people to be here. ME. I have something to offer these people that no one else can. I'm just really excited now. I know great things are about to happen. There is great anticipation for what is to come.
We will be going into villages everyday. In the morning we will be "evangelizing" as a team in individual villages and prayer walking. Every afternoon for the next 2 weeks Landon and I will be heading to Samaroang Village (about 45 minute ride on motor bikes) to teach English and Bible. I'm not a teacher so this will be stretching. But I'm very excited to see the same people consistently and build relationships. Our schedule is packed. I know it will be a hard couple weeks but I am reminded that the key is to remain willing and open. It is a blessing to come along side this church in Kampong Thom. It is a blessing to share the gospel with people. It is a blessing to see the way God is moving even when the enemy has strongholds. Pray for health (a few people have been getting sick). Pray for energy in this heat. Pray for courage and building of faith. Just pray. We need it.
Probably won't be blogging for the next week or 2...